Brother of Afghan Taliban chief killed in Pakistan mosque blast: ex-militant commander

Undated photo of Hafiz Ahmadullah, brother of Afghan Taliban supreme leader Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, who was killed in a bomb attack at a mosque in Kuchlak, a town on the outskirts of Quetta in Pakistan's Balochistan province on August 16, 2019. (Photo courtesy Taliban social media)
Updated 18 August 2019
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Brother of Afghan Taliban chief killed in Pakistan mosque blast: ex-militant commander

  • Hafiz Burhan confirms death of Hafiz Ahmadullah, brother of Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada
  • Akhundzada was not in mosque when bomb went off, lived and taught at complex for years before becoming Taliban supremo

PESHAWAR: The brother of the chief of the Afghan Taliban was among at least four people killed in a bomb blast at a mosque in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, a former Afghan Taliban commander said on Saturday.
The mosque and seminary in the town of Kuchlak, on the outskirts of the provincial capital of Quetta, is known to be frequented by the Taliban’s supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, who lived, taught and preached there for at least 15 years before being made chief of the Taliban in May 2016. 
The blast took place as the Taliban and the United States are in the final stages of talks on an agreement that would see America withdraw its troops from neighboring Afghanistan. The attack, which left 26 wounded, could affect efforts to end the Afghan war.
“I just offered Fateha (condolences) over the martyrdom of Hafiz Ahmadullah, the brother of Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada,” Hafiz Burhan, a former Taliban leader, told Arab News, adding that Ahmadullah was the younger brother of the Taliban chief. 
He said the bomb at the mosque was triggered with the help of a time device, echoing Deputy Inspector General Police Quetta, Abdul Razzaq Cheema, who told media soon after the blast that a time device had been planted under the chair of the prayer leader.
Burhan said though there were at least five dozen worshippers at the mosque when the attack took place, the number of casualties would have been much higher had most of the seminary students not been home for Eid holidays.
“He (late Hafiz Ahmad Ullah) was himself delivering the Friday sermon and I believe he was the intended target of the attack,” Burhan said. Arab News could not independently verify this claim.


Makkah, Karachi chambers agree to jointly develop business sector

Updated 8 min 43 sec ago
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Makkah, Karachi chambers agree to jointly develop business sector

  • Saudi Arabia is one of the top exporters to Pakistan
  • Mutual events and joint investment can help enhance bilateral business ties, says MCCI chief

MAKKAH: Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) chief Hisham bin Mohammed Kaaki met with his Pakistani counterpart Junaid Ismail, president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Sunday in a bid to explore ways of jointly developing the business sector of the two countries, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The meeting, headed by the visiting Saudi official, aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and to mull over areas of shared interests for the business community in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Ibrahim Bardisi, secretary-general of the MCCI, was also in the attendance.
Kaaki said that the visit to KCCI would help strengthen mutual cooperation, exchange of expertise, arrange bilateral visits and events, in addition to organizing forums and exhibitions to help develop private sector and result in strong ties between the entrepreneurs on both sides. 
He added that interaction between the Saudi and Pakistani business community can be enhanced through various mutual activities, exhibitions and joint investments.
He lauded the relations between the two countries noting that he highly valued his visit to KCCI, which was Pakistan’s largest business body.
Ismail highlighted that Pakistan had a well developed textile and military industry, in addition to offering prospects in technology sector, civil engineering and other scopes of mutual interest. Organizing exhibitions would help strengthen bilateral ties indeed, he said.
The non-oil Saudi exports to Pakistan in the last five years are estimated at SR17 billion ($4.42 billion), including food items and construction material estimated at SR191 million and SR965 million respectively.
The Kingdom is one of the top exporters to Pakistan, while the latter exports textile goods, cloth, processed cotton, rice, meat, fruits, vegetables, spices, leather products, electronic and chemicals to Saudi Arabia.